Paris Saint-Germain in shock loss as Neymar sits out again
Tuchel insists they will not let superstar leave without signing a replacement
Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel admitted that they missed Neymar and insisted that the Brazil international can leave only if they can get an adequate replacement.
Tuchel left Neymar out of his squad for the second consecutive week amid uncertainty over the forward's future and his side slumped to a 2-1 loss to Rennes yesterday morning (Singapore time).
The 27-year-old superstar has been eyeing a move to either Real Madrid or Barcelona, and Tuchel is adamant that they need to sign another striker if Neymar's deal materialises before the European transfer window closes on Sept 2.
"We can't lose Neymar without replacing him," Tuchel said after the Rennes defeat.
"If we keep him, we have a player who can win the one-on-ones and that is sometimes necessary.
"Nothing has changed. The market is open, it will not be resolved today or tomorrow, things are not set in stone."
Tuchel, who also insisted that Neymar missed his second straight league game only because he was still not in good physical shape, certainly looked like he could do with more help to get the champions' season back on track.
PSG were gifted the opener when Edinson Cavani tapped in after a defensive mix-up, but M'Baye Niang's strike drew Rennes level on the stroke of half-time before Romain del Castillo headed in the winner early in the second period.
PSG captain Thiago Silva insisted that the ongoing saga around his compatriot's future played no part in his team's poor performance.
"For everyone it's difficult, but it's not an excuse," he told Canal Plus television channel.
"Neymar was not there. We must think of ourselves. I hope it's the last (defeat of the season)."
Rennes join Lyon and Nice at the summit of the table on maximum points after the opening two rounds of the season, while the defeat leaves PSG in eighth.
The reigning French champions were frustrated by their well-drilled hosts, who have become something of a bogey team for PSG.
The victory marked Rennes' fifth Ligue 1 win against the Parisian side in the last 10 years, more than any other club. They also beat PSG in last season's French Cup final.
"We were not focused," Silva conceded.
"You have to raise your head, try to be better at the next game because it was not the Paris Saint-Germain that we know.
"A physical problem? I don't think so. We worked well. Rennes have been more solid defensively, more attentive, I do not know exactly what happened."
The home side started brightly, but they were undone on 36 minutes when Cavani pounced on a slack pass from Damien da Silva to slot home.
Rennes, though, drew level on the brink of half-time when Niang took down a cross just inside the PSG box, turned his marker and lashed a left-footed finish into the bottom corner.
The hosts then took the lead within three minutes of the restart when the impressive 16-year-old midfielder Eduardo Camavinga lofted a cross into the path of del Castillo to head home unmarked from close range.
PSG looked shell-shocked and almost went further behind when defender Jeremy Morel's volley came back off the post. - REUTERS